Australopithecine enamel prism patterns

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Science  24 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4370, pp. 890-892
DOI: 10.1126/science.102032


Following a recent suggestion that tooth enamel prism shape differs within Hominoidea, the teeth of a number of extinct and extant hominoid species were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. The enamel prism patterns of some gracile and robust australopithecine specimens from Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai are recorded. The characteristic arrangements of enamel prisms in all modern and extinct hominoid species were found to be essentially similar. The implications of enamel prisms for phylogenetic deduction in Hominoidea are discussed.